Having an online presence is key to your small business’s success in today’s digital world. According to Blue Corona, studies show that between 70 and 80% of potential consumers research a small business online before visiting or buying. This means that your website is often the first interaction your potential customers or clients have with your business. Not only should your website present a professional and informative face to your business, but it should also give them a lasting and positive brand impression. There are four key ways you can improve your small business’s website to help your business stand out.
1. Identify What Your Users are Doing on Your Website
No matter what type of small business you have, it’s important that you track your user’s behavior on your website. Tracking has many advantages, including helping you to identify which elements of your website work and which could use improvement or optimization. Website tracking also allows you to identify characteristics of your potential customers, and to better tailor your message accordingly.
A few key metrics that you should track include unique and returning visitors, keywords and visitor engagement including time on site and number of pages visited. How can these metrics help improve your business website? The number of first time visitors (unique visitors) can help give you an accurate picture of how many new sets of eyes your website receives on a daily basis. If your unique visit count is down, it can be a sign to refresh and update your content or your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics.
The number of returning visitors your site receives can also help tell you about your site. If your business relies on loyal clients or customers, you might want to increase the number of return visitors to your site by adding new content regularly and updating your messaging.
For many small businesses, however, it’s the quality of the customer rather than the quantity that means the most. For this reason, visitor engagement metrics are also incredibly important. Track customer engagement by analyzing the amount of time your visitors remain on site and the number of pages they visit. Increasing engagement can help you capture and retain more customers in the future.
There are many available tools for tracking your website. One of the most common is Google Analytics. This free tracking platform allows you to measure visits, customer engagement and other metrics that will help you improve your site. Another website measurement tool is Crazy Egg, which provides heat maps to help you visualize customer interaction with your site.
2. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly
These days, more and more people are using their cell phone to search and shop for products and services online. In fact, according to Criteo, about 70% of all e-Commerce transactions are expected to come from mobile phones throughout 2017. Even if your business doesn’t include e-Commerce, you should pay attention to your site’s mobile friendliness. According to Google Small Business, users are about 5 times more likely to leave a site that is not mobile friendly. You can optimize your small business website for mobile visitors by creating a responsive design, or a design that grows and shrinks based on the size of the device that displays it.
To check your website for responsiveness, open your website on your mobile device. How does it look? Do you have to scroll horizontally? Do you have to zoom in? You may find it a priority to revisit the design of your website or to enhance your mobile experience. A quick way to determine mobile friendliness is load speed. Use Google’s mobile friendliness test to determine if your site meets common responsive standards and get tips on how you can improve your site responsiveness.
3. Keep Content and Imagery Up to Date
Unlike with print advertising, you can constantly update and improve your website. Keep your business’s online presence from getting stale by regularly updating images, logos, graphics and copy.
Updated content can establish credibility, engage visitors and encourage them to make a purchase. One way to provide new, interesting content to your visitors is by establishing a blog. Updating your content keeps visitors on your site, it can also help boost your search rankings. For more on small business content and blogging, read our blog post 5 Best Practices for Small Business Blogs.
Fresh images can also help to pull your visitors in, complement your content and establish your brand. Think about your target audience and your current image strategy when determining which photos to update and which to replace.
4. Improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO efforts can be incredibly important for small business websites. Regular SEO updates can help your business showing up first on the results page (before your competitor’s). One way you can improve your business’s SEO is by making sure every webpage on your site has a unique page title and contains relevant keywords. Keyword rich titles, along with page headings, help improve readability by breaking up content. They also make your website and content easier to scan by search engines.
Along with page titles, you should regularly update your webpage meta descriptions (or the 160-character content block that shows up on the search page directly below your title). Use this content to describe your page and the advantages of your site. You can use Google’s Keyword tool to help you better understand and optimize how people are searching for your business. To learn more about SEO best practices, check out our blog post “A Small Business Owner’s 5-Minute Guide to Unlocking SEO”
While website tracking and optimization might seem time consuming at first, the advantages to your business are more than worth it. With more and more customers looking for businesses online, your website can be a key place to not only provide potential customers with information, but also to interact with and sell to customers. To take advantage of all the opportunities your website provides, track your website performance, use responsive design, update your content and use simple tactics to help optimize your site’s rankings.